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Fathers Of The Church, Catholic Edition

Involuntary nocturnal pollutions are not sinful, “For what sin or uncleanness can any natural excrement have in itself? Think of the absurdity of making a sin of the wax which comes from the ears or of the spittle from the mouth. Moreover we might add many things and explain how the excretions from the belly are necessary to animal life. But if we believe that man is the work of God’s hand, as we are taught in holy Scripture, how can it be supposed necessary that we perform anything impure? And if we are the children of God, as the holy Acts of the Apostles teaches, we have in us nothing unclean, etc., etc.”; nor is matrimony unclean, though virginity “which is angelic and than which nothing can be more excellent” is to be preferred before it.

The Epistle of the Same Athanasius Taken from the XXXIX. Festal Epistle.

As the heretics are quoting apocryphal writings, an evil which was rife even as early as when St. Luke wrote his gospel, therefore I have thought good to set forth clearly what books have been received by us through tradition as belonging to the Canon, and which we believe to be divine. For there are in all twenty-two books of the Old Testament. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. After this comes Joshua, and Judges, and Ruth. The four books of the Kings, counted as two. Then Chronicles, counted the two as one. Then First and Second Esdras [i.e. Ezra and Nehemiah]. After these Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Cantica. To these follow Job, and the Twelve Prophets, counted as one book. Then Isaiah, Jeremiah together with the Epistle of Baruch, the Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

Of the New Testament these are the books [then follows the complete list ending with “the Apocalypse of John”]. These are the fountains of salvation, that whoso thirsteth, may be satisfied by the eloquence which is in them. In them alone (en toutois monois) is set forth the doctrine of piety. Let no one add to them, nor take aught therefrom.

I also add for further accuracy that there are certain other books, not edited in the Canon, but established by the Fathers, to be read by those who have just come to us and wish to be instructed in the doctrine of piety. The Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, the Doctrine (Didache) of the Apostles and the Pastor. And let none of the Apocrypha of the heretics be read among you.

The Epistle of St. Athanasius to Ruffinian.

It has been determined by synods in Greece, Spain, France, that they who have fallen, or been leaders of impiety [Arianism], be pardoned upon repentance, but that they have not the place of the clergy; but that they who were only drawn away by force, or that complied for fear the people should be corrupted, have the place of the clergy too. Let the people who have been deceived, or forced, be pardoned, upon repentance and pronouncing anathema against the miscreancy of Eudoxius and Euzoius, ringleaders of the Arians (who assert that Christ is a creature); and upon professing the faith of the Fathers at Nice, and that no synod can prejudice that.

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